Monday, November 26, 2012

Wanting More from the Museum

San Diego's Balboa Park began as 1400 acres of land set aside in 1868 by San Diego civic leaders.
The 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition commemorated the opening of the Panama Canal and provided a major impetus for the creation of the Park as it appears today. Several of the Spanish-Renaissance style buildings house some of the Park's seventeen museums.

The building on the right houses the Junior Theater.
Opposite this building to the east is the Natural History Museum. This building, designed by William Templeton Johnson, on Balboa Park's east side was dedicated in 1933.

Two cat-like figures stood above the arched entrance.

These figures along the building's rooflines appeared to be seahorses.
The Museum had its displays of animal skeletons. That of a Protoreodant (an extinct hoofed mammal) is shown below
and that of a mastodon stands on this spot below.

Other large figures were found throughout the Museum. Here a shark hovers over a campsite for children and

another unknown creature was found "wandering" around the building.
These lemurs (I believe) are shown in a naturalistic setting.

One of the special exhibits was on the subject "Chocolate." Earlier this year, Scientific American reported on the embattled cacao tree and speculated that it might not be able to meet the increasing demand for chocolate around the globe.

The photo below shows the use of cacao seeds as currency. For example, three cacao seeds could buy one avocado.

This realistic display of a box of chocolates and chocolate cupcake ottomans seemed primed for a tasting.
Nearly 200 of the Museum's collection of skulls made up another display.
And there was also the class of students who made the trip to the Museum.
Overall, we were left wanting more--but it was a "more" that was synonymous with a beginning rather than a continuation (if that makes sense).

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